Stacks Image 2560

A trilogy of Vancouver Island history by Michael Layland

In Nature’s Realm garners two prestigious accolades

Stacks Image 2577
In March 2020, the Library of the University of British Columbia announced that they had awarded Michael Layland the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia for his book In Nature’s Realm. This annual award, sponsored by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, recognizes the best scholarly book published by a Canadian author on a BC subject. In announcing the award Dr. Susan E. Parker, UBC’s University Librarian, said “This masterful book is remarkable in its physical appearance, and based on consummately executed research and investigation. We are thrilled, once again, to highlight the fine work of an author from British Columbia.”

In April 2020, the British Columbia Historical Federation announced their award of the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing to Michael Layland for In Nature’s Realm. The award recognizes the author whose book made the most significant contribution to the historical literature of British Columbia during the previous year. The Lieutenant Governor normally presents the medal in person during the banquet held in connection with the BCHF annual conference, however this year, due to the pandemic, the event was cancelled.
Stacks Image 2552
Michael Layland at Munro’s Books in Victoria for his October 2019 launch of In Nature’s Realm. This book with The Land of Heart’s Delight (2013) and A Perfect Eden (2016), completes his Vancouver Island historical trilogy covering early cartography, tales of exploration, and stories of the early incoming naturalists.
Upcoming illustrated talks for In Nature’s Realm:
Talks scheduled for April 2020 to: Alberni District Historical Society; Elder College, Campbell River; and Comox Valley Naturalists have all been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the intention to reschedule these talks for a similar period in 2021. Please await announcements.


April 17, 2020 Ormsby Review #790 carries announcement of two accolades for In Nature’s Realm, together with the text of Richard Mackie’s foreword for the book

April 17, 2020 In Nature’s Realm awarded Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing by BC Historical Federation.

March 2, 2020 In Nature’s Realm awarded Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize by UBC Library and BC BookWorld.

March 2020 Marianne Scott reviews In Nature’s Realm for British Columbia Magazine Vol 61-1.

October 30, 2019 In Nature‘s Realm launched at Bolen’s Books, Victoria

October 15, 2019 Michael Layland’s article British Columbia’s First Natural History Society, published in BCnature, Fall 2019 p.37

October 2019 Michael Layland reviews Briony Penn’s book A Year on the Wild Side, for The Victoria Naturalist Vol 76.2

September 11, 2019 Michael Layland reviews Gabriel Hemery’s book Green Gold; The epic true story of Victorian plant hunter John Jeffrey for the Ormsby Review # 613

October 29, 2018 Michael Layland reviews Peter Johnson’s book A No-so-Savage Land; the art and times of Frederick Whymper, 1838–1901 for the Ormsby Review #409

May 27, 2017 A Perfect Eden awarded third place in BC Historical Federation’s awards for historical writing. Click for more.

April 2017 Michael Layland reviews Bernd Brunner’s book Birdmania; A Remarkable Passion for Birds, BCnature p.26

March 12, 2017 A Perfect Eden shortlisted for BC Book Prizes in 2 categories: Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize, and Bill Duthie’s Booksellers Choice Award Read press release.

March 4, 2017 A Perfect Eden reviewed by Robin Fisher in Ormsby Review #98

Read Michael Layland's article (published in the Times Colonist) about his passion for maps, and how these two books came to be.

A significant element in the European encounter of Vancouver Island was the identification of the richly diverse fauna and flora of this new-to-them ecosystem. In Nature’s Realm bridges two aspects: that of exploration and colonization history, and that of the development of knowledge about the natural world, both within the context of Vancouver Island. The text describes events from 13,000 years ago through to about 1915, and is copiously illustrated with historic and modern images. This book complements the author’s previous volumes, bringing a new theme to the events they covered.
European explorers to the Pacific northwest encountered a rugged natural paradise. This is the story of their encounters with the terrain and the peoples they found on what became Vancouver Island, their exploration and settlement of the land there. When James Douglas first arrived in 1842 seeking a new location for Hudson’s Bay Company operations on the west coast, he described it as “A perfect ‘Eden,’” a description no less true today.
With over 120 maps, charts, and illustrations dating between 1566 and 1914, this book tells the story of how Vancouver Island and the surrounding waters came to be mapped. These local cartographic milestones mark the progress in our knowledge during the island’s rich—although comparatively short—recorded history. The accompanying text reveals the motives, constraints, agendas, and intrigues that underpinned the making of the maps.

In Nature’s Realm, A Perfect Eden and The Land of Heart's Delight are available at Bolen Books, Munro’s, Ivy’s, Tanner’s, the Royal BC Museum, BC Ferries, Touchwood Editions (the publisher) and at other booksellers across Vancouver Island.

The Land of Heart's Delight, A Perfect Eden and In Nature’s Realm are available to booksellers outside Canada.

To order in the US
Publishers Group West / INGRAM Content Group
t: 1.866.400.5351

To order in Canada
Heritage Group Distribution
t: 1.800.665.3302

International orders

* {font-family: georgia}